Monday, 4 January 2016

4th - 6th January 2016

Wednesday, 6th January: A lovely winter's morning after a grey start....

Church Norton: There were three Spoonbills in the harbour this morning, but no sign of the Goosander, though there were four Red-breasted Mergansers and two Goldeneye in the harbour. There was nothing offshore, but in the harbour there were 500+ Brent Geese and plenty of the commoner stuff. (AH)
Also, there was a Kingfisher flying across the harbour and the two Peregrines on their island. Around the churchyard an overhead Buzzard, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Goldcrests and 2 singing Song Thrushes. The Severals had a Jay, 2 Stonechats and 2 Reed Buntings. (SR)

Spoonbills (above) & Red-breasted Mergansers at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were at least 300 Lapwing and 300 Wigeon on the field, plus 60 Shoveler and 40 Teal on the water. (AH)
There was a Chiffchaff singing behind the Visitor Centre at lunchtime. (PH)

Why are the water levels so low in Ferry Pool? Due to the recent wet weather, a breach in the bank between the Ferry Pool and the Broad Rife has happened. This has resulted in the Ferry Pool draining in to Broad Rife. As so as possible a temporary solution to repair the breach will be carried out and then later in the year when ground conditions and disturbance to the wildlife is less of a factor a full repair will happen. (IL Warden - Pagham Hbr)

The problem with the Ferry! (IL)

Sidlesham: Late this evening a Tawny Owl went low over the road near the school. (AH)

Medmerry: West Beach - 2 Turnstones on the rocks, 2 Pied Wagtails, 15 Wigeon E, 1 Teal E and a further c30 Wigeon on the sea.

On the rough ground at Toe End a female-type Black Redstart and 2 Stonechats.
Breach Viewpoint: 52 Brent Geese, c60 Pintail Ducks, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 52 Wigeon, 9 Teal, 2 Curlew, 12 Dunlin, 1 Buzzard. (SR)

Runcton: Around the Manor this morning, a Chiffchaff on the east path (Saltham Lane), 10 Siskins with Goldfinches in Alders just inside entrance to Saltham Grange on south side, and the Nuthatch still calling on the west side opposite the the bungalow with feeders. (CRJ)

North Wall area: Honer 1 field is flooded and only just passable with wellington boots. Early on the field behind the Breech Pool held 400 Lapwing, 300 Wigeon and 18 Curlew. Honer 1 field held 380 Lapwing, 300 Black Tailed Godwits, 70 Curlew, 63 Canada Geese, 1 Greylag Goose, 200 Wigeon and 90 Teal. Honer 2 field held 60 Wigeon, 12 Teal , 4 Pintail and 17 Curlew. 2 Redwings in Owl Copse. In the field immediately north of Bremere Bridge were 2700 Brent Geese and 68 Curlew. This was the biggest single Brent Goose flock I have seen this winter. Later a Buzzard was sitting on fence posts behind the Breech Pool which probably accounted for the dispersal of the earlier waders. A Short Eared Owl was hunting over the reed bed despite the attentions of a Kestrel. (JDW)

Buzzard (above), Kestrel, Grey Heron and flooded field from North Wall (JDW)

Tuesday, 5th January: An altogether better day, with lighter winds and a hint of sunshine among the dark clouds.....though still with some all-too-frequent heavy showers.

Readers might be interested to know that Selsey Bill - the hub of our activities - received observer coverage on 314 days in 2015, with a record total of 1099 hours watched..... thanks and well done to all concerned, but especially JA for his meticulous log-keeping (OM).

Selsey Bill (0750-0935hrs):   Very little moving, though a Black-throated and a Red-throated Diver, an Arctic Skua and a few Kittiwakes went through. Full log below.........
(Obs: CRJ/BFF/JD/DS/AH et al)
Red-throated Diver - 1W - os
Black-throated Diver - 1W - os
Great Northern Diver -  1E, 1os
Gannet - 5W
Brent Goose - 2E, 8W
Eider - 1E
Red-breasted Merganser - 8E, 12W
Guillemot - 1os
Razorbill - 1os
Auk sp - 1W
Arctic Skua - 1E (d/p, 0930)

Kittiwakes past the Bill (AH)

Church Norton: The Spoonbill was asleep out in the harbour and a redhead Goosander was a nice surprise with a group of five Red-breasted Mergansers in the channel by the spit. A Great Northern Diver and a Slavonian Grebe were offshore, though there were 50+ Common Gulls and a dozen Mediterranean Gulls along the beach. The two Peregrines were being active, a Goldeneye was near the harbour mouth, at least a dozen Avocets were at the other end of the harbour and up to three Chiffchaffs were around the mound. (AH/CRJ/JD/BFF et al) Further along, there were 120 Mediterranean Gulls off Pagham beach. (CRJ)

Goosander (above), with Red-breasted Mergansers, Red-breasted Mergansers, Common Gulls, Peregrines & Wigeon at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Firecrest was along the path to the hide. (BFF/DM/DIS)

There was very little on the pool, though 200+ Wigeon and Lawing, plus a few Shoveler and Shelduck ere on the field. (AH)

Chichester GPs: New Lake - The first-winter female Scaup was present again this morning. (SR)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm to Ham - A Merlin went over this morning, and there were 11 Grey Partridges in the fields. (PH)

Birdham: A Firecrest in my garden this morning! (PS)

Chichester Marina channel: There were a Great northern Diver, 8 Goldeneye ,12 Red -breasted Merganser,20 Little Grebe and a Kingfisher today. (BFF/DM/DIS)

Dell Quay to Fishbourne; There were 5 Goldeneye, 8 Red-breasted Mergansers, 6 Greenshank,4 Spotted Redshank, a Whimbrel and a Kingfisher present today, and 12 Yellowhammers at the riding school.(BFF/DM/DIS)

Monday, 4th January: More of the same, really - fairly mild, but a strong south-westerly and heavy showers.....

Selsey Bill: Nothing was moving offshore, but several Little Gulls were lingering, before heading west - a first-winter early on, then four (and probably six) adults. Five Kittiwakes went through close in, but otherwise early on it was just a few Shags and a Great Northern Diver east and two Red-breasted Mergansers and two Great Crested Grebes west, whilst the Eider was again off Hillfield Road. Full log below. (AH/SR/C&ME et al)
Great Northern Diver - 1E, 4os
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 3W
Gannet - 1W
Shag - 6E
Brent Goose - 1E
Common Scoter - 2os
Red-breasted Merganser - 5E, 3W, 7os
Little Gull - 5W
Kittiwake - 6E, 13W
Razorbill - 1W
auk sp - 1os

Little Gull (above), Kittiwake & Eider at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: The water level has been lowered and consequently around 500 Black-tailed Godwits were on the pool this morning, with at least that many Lapwing on the field in the company of 30 Golden Plover. There were plenty of wildfowl, too, including 60 Shoveler, 200 Wigeon and 30 Shelduck. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The two Peregrines were upsetting the waders by the North Wall, including at least 1000 Lapwing and 100 Golden Plover. Not much of note in the harbour, bar a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers and good numbers of the commoner waders, whilst there were half a dozen Goldcrests, a Jay and a couple of Song Thrushes around the churchyard. (AH)

Peregrine (above), Grey Plover & Goldcrest at Church Norton (AH)

Runcton: This morning a Nuthatch was calling from around the Manor, and there were a Coal Tit and two Siskins nearby. (CRJ)

Pagham Spit: There was a good selection of gulls feeding along the spit today, including eleven Mediterranean Gulls and five Common Gulls. (RH)

Mediterranean Gull (above) & with Turnstone on Pagham Spit (RH)

Pagham Lagoon/ East side: There was a pair each of Pochard and Red-breasted Merganser and a single redhead Goldeneye. In the Harbour from the hide was a 2cy Spoonbill roosting with big gulls,  four Goldeneyes (three m,1 f) and two Peregrines putting up clouds of waders totalling say 4000, half of which were Lapwings, the other half mostly Dunlin, Grey Plover and Knot. At the Harbour mouth were 100 Mediterranean Gulls, while at the Salt House was a Spotted Redshank busily feeding, a female R/b Merganser and, from the north fields some 2000 Brent Geese erupted and dropped down into the inaccessible reservoir. (ARK/MH per SOS website)

Chichester GPs: New Lake - about 14.00 - 15.00hrs we found what we believe is the putative female-type Scaup discussed and shown recently on the blog. It swam freely near Tufted Ducks and perched on flooded branches beside them but never actually with them and was actually pecked at by male Tufteds on occasion. It preened copiously on the water and when perched. It's head is smoothly rounded with no hint of crest and is coloured a "decent scaup brown". Bill tip has black splayed out a bit from the nail which, taken with small size (not bigger than Tufteds) might say Tufted duck, but quite honestly we do go for Scaup, a juvenile. (ARK/MH per SOS website)

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